Saturday, June 29, 2019

The dangerous drive to correlate Islamophobia with anti-Semitism - Melanie Phillips

by Melanie Phillips

Islamophobia, like much Muslim discourse, is based on an appropriation and inversion of Jewish experience and precepts.

The Somali-born congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who has made a number of anti-Semitic remarks, is currently embroiled in controversy over her marriage history. When claims against her of bigamy and immigration fraud first emerged in 2016, Omar accused the journalists involved of “Islamophobia.” 

Omar has also made a claim being heard more and more: that Muslims are called anti-Semites only because they are Muslim. In other words, anyone who calls out Muslim anti-Semitism is Islamophobic.

This twisted claim is a way of making Muslim anti-Semitism unsayable.

The claim is being heard alongside the message that Islamophobia is the equivalent of anti-Semitism—an equation made by the leadership of Britain’s Jewish community as well. This is dismaying because it’s a morally bankrupt and dangerous equivalence.

While some people are truly prejudiced against Muslims—just as some hate or fear anyone not like themselves—Islamophobia was invented by the Muslim Brotherhood as a way of silencing legitimate discussion of any fault in the Islamic world.

A relentless campaign is currently being waged to outlaw Islamophobia in the West—and thereby shut down that vital discussion. The United Nations is working with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to prohibit all speech that Muslims consider offensive.

A few days ago, Pakistan ramped up the pressure. Backing the U.N.’s initiative, Pakistan’s ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said Islamophobia was “today the most prevalent expression of racism and hatred against ‘the other.’ ”

This is totally untrue. Apart from the fact that Islam is not a race but a religion, the true hatred of “the other” that really is most prevalent today is anti-Semitism. And those principally spreading this poison are the political left in tandem with the Muslim world.

In Britain, the Labour Party is convulsed by epidemic, eye-watering anti-Semitism among its members. A detailed survey last year from the University of Oslo found that in Scandinavia, Germany, Britain and France, most anti-Semitic violence is being perpetrated by Muslims.

This is broadly unsayable because of the terror of being labeled Islamophobic, the taunt deployed against anyone who calls out Muslim anti-Semitism. That’s why this week’s declaration by U.N. secretary-general António Guterres that he would “continue to call out anti-Semitic racism and other forms of hatred,” but who is also poised to ban all criticism of Islam under precisely that umbrella, is dangerous cant.

For Muslim anti-Semitism is fueling and legitimizing Western anti-Semitism and its contemporary mutations: anti-Zionism, and the demonization and delegitimization of Israel. The refusal to criticize Muslims means that the frenzied discourse of anti-Jewish hatred coursing through the Islamic world, consisting of blood libels, unhinged conspiracy theories and paranoid fantasies, has become normalized in broader Western society.

Muslim ideologues state openly that what motivates them above all is their hatred not just of Israel, but the Jews.

The leader of Hezbollah, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, has said: “If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice, I do not say the Israeli.”

Earlier this month, Iraqi cleric Abd Al-Salam Zain Al-Abidin said on Iraqi TV that the Koran focuses on the Jews as much as it does because they’re the “sworn enemy” of the Muslims.

The Palestinian Arabs pump out psychotic, Nazi-style libels and calumnies against Jews. At the end of last year, a preacher said typically on Palestinian Authority TV that the Jews “expose their fangs whenever they get the chance … always fighting, always scheming and always plotting against humanity … ”

The stifling effect of the Islamophobia-equals-anti-Semitism trope, however, means few appreciate that the concept of Islamophobia is itself fundamentally anti-Jew.

That’s because Islamophobia, like much Muslim discourse, is based on an appropriation and inversion of Jewish experience and precepts.

The Islamists invented “Islamophobia” because they wanted to gain what they (wrongly) thought were the benefits to the Jews of anti-Semitism—protection from criticism. That’s why they claim an equivalence between the two.

But the great difference is that anti-Semitism is true prejudice because the Jews are innocent of the grotesque misdeeds attributed to them. By contrast, while many Muslims are decent people who wouldn’t harm a fly, Islam is an all-too real, historic source of oppression, fanatical violence and colonialist wars.

Time and again, Muslim thinking appropriates and inverts Jewish experience in order to demonize Israel and the Jews.

The Jews are the only people for whom the land of Israel was ever their national kingdom, hundreds of years before Islam was even founded. Yet Muslims say (preposterously) that they are the indigenous people of the land.

Gaza’s Islamist warlords commit war crimes by targeting Israeli civilians. Yet Muslims say Israel is guilty of war crimes, even though the IDF go to heroic lengths not to kill Arab civilians and achieve a ratio of killing civilians relative to fighters three or four times better than the ratio achieved by American or British forces in their own wars.

Jews were ethnically cleansed from Arab lands; yet Muslims claim Israel is ethnically cleansing the Palestinians, a ludicrous assertion given that the Arab population in the disputed territories and Gaza has increased more than fourfold since 1948.

Israel gives all Jews the right of return to Israel; Muslims claim a “right of return” not to their own putative state of Palestine, but to Israel. They even claim that the Palestinians are the world’s “new Jews.”

In Britain, a campaign by the former Conservative party chairman Baroness Warsi to outlaw Islamophobia is falsely accusing the Conservative party of institutional Islamophobia and Islamophobia-denial. This is clearly an attempt by British Muslims to appropriate for themselves the moral high ground now supposedly occupied by British Jews as a result of the unaddressed anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

Anti-Jewish appropriation and inversion are fundamental to Islam. One reason why the existence of Israel as a Jewish state is anathema is that Islam teaches that the real, authentic Jews are … the Muslims. Thus, Osama bin Laden declared in his Letter to the American People:

“It is the Muslims who are the inheritors of Moses (peace be upon him) and the inheritors of the real Torah that has not been changed. … If the followers of Moses have been promised a right to Palestine in the Torah, then the Muslims are the most worthy nation of this.”

Since pious Muslims believe that Islam is perfect and everything else is the province of the devil, Muslim aggression against Jews and others becomes self-defense while defense against it becomes aggression.

All espousing the Palestinian cause go along with this surreal appropriation and inversion agenda. In turn, it plays directly into the post-modern discourse of the West where lies are believed as truth and truth disdained as lies in accordance with the dogma of secular ideologies from multiculturalism to environmentalism.

Like Islam, these ideologies are also premised upon the perfection of the world, agendas which brook no dissent and which demand that heretics be destroyed.

If you feel you are living in a terrifying, discombobulating and sinister hall of mirrors over anti-Semitism, Israel and Islamophobia, this is why.

Melanie Phillips, a British journalist, broadcaster and author, is now writing a weekly column for JNS. Currently a columnist for “The Times of London,” her personal and political memoir, Guardian Angel,” has been published by Bombardier, which also published her first novel, The Legacy,” in 2018. Her work can be found on her website:


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'A terrorist state is right around the corner' - Arutz Sheva Staff

by Arutz Sheva Staff

Massive increase in illegal Arab construction, watchdog group warns, with 28,000 illegal Arab buildings built since 2009.

Illegal Arab buildings
Illegal Arab buildings                                                                                                                                       Regavim

The Palestinian Authority has accelerated its efforts to seize land in Area C of Judea and Samaria – which is under full Israeli control – over the past decade, with an orchestrated campaign of illegal construction projects, a watchdog group warned Friday.

In a reported released Friday morning, the Regavim organization, which monitors illegal Arab construction in Israel, detailed the extent of the illegal construction projects carried out in Area C over the last ten years with the support of the Palestinian Authority.

The newly-drawn map of the situation on the ground reflects both illegal construction and land-grabs facilitated by “agricultural use” that takes advantage of the archaic system of law currently in force in these areas. All of these projects – construction and agriculture in the service of the future Palestinian state – are made possible by massive financial support provided by the European Union, individual European governments, and European NGOs, the Regavim report claims. 

The master plan for this comprehensive, strategic operation was publicized ten years ago, according to Regavim.

Known as the Fayyad Plan for the Creation of the State of Palestine, then-prime minister of the Palestinian Authority Salaam Fayyad laid out a clear and methodical program for seizing control of territory in Area C to form a broad and viable basis for the Palestinian state, specifically in the areas under Israeli control.

Fayyad’s plan, published and activated only four years after the Palestinians and the Europeans committed to the Oslo framework, actively bypasses all negotiation or compromise with Israel, and simply creates facts on the ground. 

The data, culled from analysis of GIS precise aerial photography, indicate that the number of illegal Palestinian structures has doubled over the last decade, during Binyamin’s term as prime minister.

In 2009, the number of illegal structures in Area C stood at 29,784, while in 2018 the number surged to 58,435. 

The far more worrying statistic is the area covered by illegal Palestinian Arab construction: In 2009, some 44,538 dunams of land in Area C were being occupied illegally by Arab construction. In 2018, over 78,626 dunams have been overtaken. 

The comparison of these figures with the Israeli “settlements” in Area C is instructive: Jewish communities currently cover some 2.5% of Area C. In the past decade, Jewish construction in Area C grew by less than 10,000 dunams, covering 47,327 dunams in 2008 and growing to an area of 56,700 dunams in 2018. 

In addition to the illegal Arab construction boom, the program of agricultural land seizure has succeeded in poaching hundreds of thousands of dunams of Israeli-owned state land in Area C: Illegal agricultural projects, carried out on land registered or in the process of registration to the State of Israel, have effectively taken over massive swaths of the open spaces in Area C, taking advantage of a loophole created by the enforcement of the Ottoman legal code in this area that grants rights on the basis of agricultural use. 

The data collected and published by Regavim was shared in recent weeks with the mayors of municipalities in Judea and Samaria, who are expected to launch a campaign in the coming days, sharply criticizing the government’s failure to enforce the law which has enabled the continued establishment of facts on the ground by the Palestinian Authority.

The mayors are expected to demand that the government formulate and enact an emergency campaign to halt any further progress toward the unilateral creation of a Palestinian state in Area C, with clear timetables for action, as well as concrete enforcement measures against recent illegal construction. 

Meir Deutsch, Director General of Regavim, released a statement following the publication of the data: “Gut feelings and hunches are easily argued, but the hard numbers speak for themselves and they are unequivocal. There is no status quo on the ground – the Palestinian Authority has been working non-stop to create immutable facts in Area C, while the State of Israel and its leadership have been fast asleep on the job. If the Israeli government doesn’t wake up, the citizens of Israel will wake up to a very harsh reality – a terrorist state right around the corner. The data are a wake-up call.”

Arutz Sheva Staff


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'Obama left Israel a parting gift of betrayal' - Arutz Sheva Staff

by Arutz Sheva Staff

Speaking at Israel Hayom Forum, US Ambassador to Israel praises Trump's recognition of Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights.

Ambassador David Friedman
Ambassador David Friedman                                                                                                                      Esti Desiubov/TPS

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman spoke on Thursday evening at the Israel Hayom Forum for US-Israel Relations in Jerusalem

Discussing the previous American administration, Friedman said that when former President Barack Obama ended his term in 2016, his administration "left a parting gift; I would say parting betrayal to the State of Israel. UN Resolution 2234, which deemed all of Judea and Samaria, all of Jerusalem… all of it was deemed to be illegally occupied territory.”

“That resolution was a lie. I wish there was a better word, but there really isn't," he added.
Friedman praised US President Donald Trump's recognition of Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights, saying that an Israeli resolution to name a new community in the Golan after Trump was a "fitting tribute."

He added he had been privileged to be invited to an open-air cabinet meeting that took place on the Golan Heights, and whose only agenda item was to authorize "Trump Heights."

The American ambassador said that the resolution, which passed unanimously, marked the first time since 1949, when Harry Truman was so honored, that Israel had named any community after a sitting US President.

Friedman said that in the aftermath of President Trump’s proclamation of March 21, 2019, many rose to applaud while words of criticism emanated from the usual corners. But as the noise dissipated and the sun rose the next day, two new realities were beyond dispute: America’s stature in the world had risen and the security of its ally Israel had been enhanced.

Now, he said, he was looking back at some of the lessons he had learned.

"Foreign policy must evolve with changed circumstances. Many who criticized the President’s decision noted that Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, of blessed memory, had negotiated with [then-Syrian President] Hafez Assad in 1994 to return portions of the Golan in exchange for peace and they urged that this failed process remain open. But almost nothing about the circumstances that existed then are relevant today. In particular, the Syrian civil war, in which Syria has murdered or displaced more than 1 million of its own people and became a client-state of Iran, is a seminal event that cannot be ignored.”

“By affirming Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, President Trump has sent a clear and moral message to the world that Syria has forfeited any legitimate claim to the Golan Heights," Friedman said.

Second, Friedman continued, "Brains without courage make for a weak foreign policy. All presidents are smart. If they weren’t, they never would have attained their lofty positions."

The ambassador said that past US presidents all grasped the need for Israel to retain sovereignty over the Golan. But only President Trump had the courage to give "practical effect to this undeniable truth."

"Courage matters," he said, adding, "Right makes might. Some have criticized the president’s decision as one of 'might makes right' – a euphemism for the erroneous proposition that a nation as strong as the United States can pursue a policy devoid of any moral foundation. Here, exactly the opposite is true: The United States is stronger because it has acted justly. The United States has sided with Israel, a nation that at great risk opened its border every night to provide emergency healthcare to Syria’s ill and wounded, and against the Syrian regime which has inflicted unspeakable trauma upon its own people."

A fourth lesson Friedman said he has learned is that not every foreign policy decision requires a quid pro quo.

"Some suggest that America 'should have gotten something from Israel' in exchange for its recognition of the Golan. But the strength of the American decision was precisely in the fact that it was principled and grounded in law and morals, thereby untarnished by the daily negotiations common to international relations," he said.

Fifth and last is the lesson "Don’t start a war that you can’t afford to lose."

Syria attacked Israel in 1967 and then again in 1973, and Israel gained control of the Golan through its legitimate response to Syrian attacks aimed at Israel’s destruction, Friedman said.

"Since then, Syria has continued to fail to be a partner for peace. By affirming Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, President Trump has afforded Israel the only secure and recognized boundary that could exist under these circumstances," he added.

The ambassador concluded his speech by saying that history would "reflect kindly upon President Trump’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan. Let’s hope that the lessons learned from this outstanding decision will influence the international foreign policy establishment to pursue and create a more just, humane and peaceful world."

Arutz Sheva Staff


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Source: Israel preparing for military solution - Orly Harari

by Orly Harari

Diplomatic source warns: If border doesn't remain quiet, Israel will reapply sanctions against Hamas.

A diplomatic source has warned that Israel will reapply sanctions against Hamas, including limiting fuel and electricity, if the quiet does not continue. At the same time, Israel is also preparing for a military solution.

Recently, at least 15 fires a day were sparked by incendiary balloons. Over the past week, 100 fires broke out in Israeli towns on the Gaza border - but the IDF has refrained from responding.

On Friday, 14 fires broke out near the Gaza border, and a police sapper neutralized an explosive device hidden in what looked like a book and attached to a cluster of balloons, which had landed in an agricultural field.

In addition, 7,000 Gazans took part in the weekly riots. One of them threw a firebomb at an IDF jeep driving near the southern Gaza border. No one was injured.

Thursday saw 25 fires from incendiary balloons, and another incendiary balloon landed in a home in the Eshkol Regional Council. By miracle, no one was injured.

Wednesday saw 19 fires, mostly in the Eshkol region.

Orly Harari


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Europe's Missing Islamic State Fighters - Soeren Kern

by Soeren Kern

The Wall Street Journal, in a recent editorial, "The West's Foreign Fighter Problem," noted that European governments face a "Catch-22" situation: either repatriate and prosecute their jihadis, or risk that they disappear off the radar and carry out new attacks in Europe.

  • Swedish Television surveyed officials in the five Swedish municipalities — Gothenburg, Stockholm, Örebro, Malmö and Borås — that are home to most of the 150 IS returnees and found that those municipalities combined only have knowledge of the whereabouts of a maximum of 16 adults and 10 children.
  • "The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial... The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them..." — U.S. President Donald Trump, Twitter, February 16, 2019.
  • The Wall Street Journal, in a recent editorial, "The West's Foreign Fighter Problem," noted that European governments face a "Catch-22" situation: either repatriate and prosecute their jihadis, or risk that they disappear off the radar and carry out new attacks in Europe.

"[I]t is particularly worrying that the [German] federal government appears to have taken no further measures to prevent the uncontrolled re-entry of underground IS [Islamic State] fighters," says Linda Teuteberg, Secretary General of Germany's Free Democratic Party. She added that the government "still has no concept for dealing with former IS fighters from Germany," including "Germans detained in the war zone as well as the more than 200 former IS supporters who are now back in Germany." (Image source: Olaf Kosinsky / CC BY-SA 3.0-de via Wikimedia Commons)

The German government has lost track of scores of Germans who travelled to Iraq and Syria in recent years to join the Islamic State (IS). The revelation comes amid growing fears that some of these fighters are returning to Germany undetected by authorities.

The German Interior Ministry, in response to a question from the Secretary General of the classical liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), Linda Teuteberg, revealed that German authorities lack information on the whereabouts of at least 160 Germans who left to fight with the IS, according to Welt am Sonntag. The ministry said that while some had probably been killed in combat, others have gone into hiding and may be trying to resettle in Germany.

"In view of the very fragmented protection of the EU's external borders, it is particularly worrying that the federal government appears to have taken no further measures to prevent the uncontrolled re-entry of underground IS fighters," Teuteberg told Welt am Sonntag. She added that the government "still has no concept" for dealing with former IS fighters from Germany, including "Germans detained in the war zone as well as the more than 200 former IS supporters who are now back in Germany."

Teuteberg said that the Interior Ministry should come up with a plan for how to deal with IS returnees and how to hold them accountable, by, for example, strengthening the legal capacity to investigate and prosecute war crimes abroad.

Of the estimated 1,050 Germans who travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight in recent years, approximately one-third (350) have returned to Germany. Another 220 are believed to have been killed on the battlefield. According to government sources cited by the German television program Tagesschau, approximately 120 are being detained in Iraq and Syria. In addition, at least 138 children of German IS fighters are being held Iraq and Syria. The whereabouts of the others are unknown.

The German government downplayed Teuteberg's concerns that IS fighters can return to Germany unnoticed:
"Given the different measures (including most-wanted lists or entry barriers) that make uncontrolled re-entry significantly more difficult, it is also assumed in the future that entry without the knowledge of the German security authorities should remain the exception."
It is known, however, that IS fighters have entered Europe — including Germany — undetected by posing as migrants: a majority of the terrorists who carried out the November 2015 Paris attacks, in which 130 people were killed and 360 injured, entered Europe by posing as migrants, according to counter-terrorism investigators. Most of the attackers were well-known to police and at least nine were on terrorist watch lists. Once they passed through the EU's porous borders in southern Europe, they were able to travel throughout the rest of Europe undetected.

Missing IS fighters are a Europe-wide problem. A July 2018 study by the International Center for the Study of Radicalization (ICSR) at King's College London estimated that more than 5,900 people — 3,379 men, 1,023 women, 1,502 minors — from Western Europe joined the Islamic State. Another 7,250 people from Eastern Europe joined the group.

According to ICSR estimates, around 1,765 IS fighters have returned to Western Europe, and 784 have returned to Eastern Europe. At least 800 IS fighters are being held at Kurdish detention camps in northern Syria. Around 700 of the fighters' wives and 1,500 of their children are also in camps, according to Reuters. It remains unclear how many of the unaccounted IS fighters have been killed on the battlefield, and how many have gone into hiding.

In Austria, for instance, of the 250 IS fighters, 93 have returned. In Belgium, of the 500 IS fighters, 123 have returned. In Britain, of the 850 IS fighters, 425 have returned. In Denmark, of the 145 IS fighters, 72 have returned. In France, of the 1,900 IS fighters, 400 have returned. In Italy, of the 129 IS fighters, 11 have returned. In the Netherlands, of the 300 IS fighters, 60 have returned. In Spain, of the 210 IS fighters, 30 have returned.

In Sweden, of the estimated 300 people who left the country to join the Islamic State, approximately 150 have returned, according to the Swedish Security Service (Säpo). Around 100 Swedish fighters are believed to have died on the battlefield; the government does not have information on the whereabouts of the others.

Between 35 and 40 Swedish IS fighters have returned to Stockholm, but the municipality has not made contact with a single returnee, and may not even know where any of them live, according to an exposé by Swedish Television (SVT), the national public television broadcaster.

SVT surveyed officials in the five Swedish municipalities — Gothenburg, Stockholm, Örebro, Malmö and Borås — that are home to most of the 150 IS returnees, and found that those municipalities combined only have knowledge of the whereabouts of a maximum of 16 adults and 10 children.

The apparent apathy has been attributed to Sweden's lack of legislation. "We are almost the only country in the EU that lacks legislation against participation and cooperation with terrorist organizations," said Magnus Ranstorp, a counter-terrorism expert at the Swedish Defense University in Stockholm. "We are of course vulnerable," he added. "Those who are dangerous and out on our streets can recruit more, and they can even plan terrorist acts."

Meanwhile, hundreds of foreign jihadi fighters who are being held in Syria represent a "time bomb" and could escape and threaten the West unless countries do more to take them back, according to the Kurdish-led, U.S.-backed authorities holding them.

"It seems most of the countries have decided that they're done with them, let's leave them here, but this is a very big mistake," said Abdulkarim Omar of the Syrian Democratic Forces. "Their home countries must do more to prosecute foreign fighters and rehabilitate their families, or else this will be a danger and a time bomb."

In February 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump called on European countries to repatriate and prosecute their foreign fighters:
"The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial. The Caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them...
"The U.S. does not want to watch as these ISIS fighters permeate Europe, which is where they are expected to go. We do so much, and spend so much. Time for others to step up and do the job that they are so capable of doing. We are pulling back after 100% Caliphate victory!"
In April, Trump tweeted:
"We have 1,800 ISIS Prisoners taken hostage in our final battles to destroy 100% of the Caliphate in Syria. Decisions are now being made as to what to do with these dangerous prisoners.... European countries are not helping at all, even though this was very much done for their benefit. They are refusing to take back prisoners from their specific countries. Not good!"
On June 24, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, called for all foreign fighters who are being detained in Syria and Iraq to be repatriated, investigated and prosecuted, or released. "The continuing detention of individuals not suspected of crimes, in the absence of lawful basis and regular independent judicial review, is not acceptable," she said.

Europe's reluctance to take back their IS fighters is based on a mix of legal, financial and political factors. Some countries have begun repatriating the children of IS jihadis on a case-by-case basis but taking back foreign fighters and their families is deeply unpopular and carries political risk.

In France, for instance, Prime Minister Édouard Philippe recently said that he preferred that French jihadis were repatriated rather than them risk evading justice. They should be "tried, convicted and punished in France rather than disappearing in the wild to plan other actions, including against our country," he said in a January 30 interview with France Inter. His comments sparked an immediate backlash. Valérie Boyer of the center-right party Les Républicains told parliament that the government must "prevent the return of jihadists who betrayed France and fought against our civilization."

National Assembly MEP Nicolas Bay, who is also a member of the executive board of Marine Le Pen's National Rally (RN), added:
"The French jihadis, by their commitment alongside groups that declared war on our country, having committed ignoble attacks on our territory, these jihadists have deliberately chosen to break with France and there is no justification for granting them any protection.
"Rather than preparing for their return, the government should do everything possible to prevent them from returning to French territory! They must be judged by the competent Syrian and Iraqi authorities."
Philippe subsequently did an about-face. In a March 6 interview with BFM TV, he said:
"We will not bring back anybody. The French doctrine has always been that the French fighters who are going to combat zones are fighting against us. When they are detained, they are to be judged and, if necessary, punished on the spot [in Iraq or Syria]."
The Wall Street Journal, in a recent editorial, "The West's Foreign Fighter Problem," noted that European governments face a "Catch-22" situation: either repatriate and prosecute their jihadis, or risk that they disappear off the radar and carry out new attacks in Europe. The Journal wrote:
"In February President Trump tweeted that the U.S. 'is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back' their ISIS fighters and prosecute them at home. Indonesia, Morocco, Russia, and Sudan started the process months ago, but Western European governments are resisting.
"Bending to domestic political pressure, European politicians like U.K. Home Secretary Sajid Javid have vowed to reject ISIS members and even strip them of citizenship. German and French officials also publicly express skepticism about accepting imprisoned terrorists. Countries that criticized the U.S. over Guantanamo Bay now are turning a blind eye to the detention of their citizens elsewhere....
"The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have treated detainees humanely, but it can't hold them forever. The group eventually will have no choice but to let the prisoners go — making a manageable security threat much worse. These battle-hardened fighters are especially dangerous given their practical knowledge and the respect they could command among would-be jihadists.
"Many released fighters would slip into Iraq, blend in with sympathetic Sunni populations, and prepare for an ISIS revival. Others could exploit security vacuums in Libya or Somalia or jump-start conflicts in other unstable regions. Perhaps the greatest risk is that some will return to the West undetected alongside refugees. Countries hesitant to take back their citizens now should realize they might return anyway—clandestinely."

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute.


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Big tech test-marketing censorship of Trump - Thomas Lifson

by Thomas Lifson

The nation’s largest news-gathering organization, the Associated Press, is test-marketing the public's reaction to Big Tech actively suppressing President Trump’s ability to reach voters directly.

It looks as though the nation's largest news-gathering organization, the Associated Press, is test-marketing the public's reaction to Big Tech actively suppressing President Trump's ability to reach voters directly. Given the shocking revelations of the Project Veritas recordings of Google executives and their memos, and Twitter's banning of conservatives, it is not paranoid to worry about Big Tech trying to define Trump and conservatives as "hate speech"..."because that's how Trump won," and limiting his ability to be heard. 

Photo credit: author.

The AP's toe in the water, written by Barbara Ortutay, is datelined San Francisco and titled, "Politicians' tweets could get slapped with warning labels." It begins:
Presidents and other world leaders and political figures who use Twitter to threaten or abuse others could find their tweets slapped with warning labels.
The new policy , announced by the company on Thursday, comes amid complaints from activists and others that President Donald Trump has gotten a free pass from Twitter to post hateful messages and attack his enemies in ways they say could lead to violence.
From now on, a tweet that Twitter deems to involve matters of public interest, but which violates the service's rules, will be obscured by a warning explaining the violation.
We're already in Orwell territory here, describing outright censorship (something that is "obscured" cannot be seen and is therefore "censored" despite AP's avoidance of that ugly reality) as a "warning label."

The entire article is biased, quoting the far-left smear group SPLC ("It's a step in the right direction"), but this passage takes the cake for pure denial of reality:

The new stance could fuel additional Trumpian ire toward social media. The president routinely complains, without evidence, that social media sites are biased against him and other conservatives.

Hat tip: David Paulin.

Thomas Lifson


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Likely voters say 'hell, no' to Democrats' free health care for illegals: Rasmussen - Monica Showalter

by Monica Showalter

So much for the raised hands of all Democrats on Thursday night's debate stage...

It would seem to be a no-brainer that free health care for people who've broken into our country with no vetting wouldn't be a popular idea. Free health insurance for MS-13, human-smuggling cartels, and everyone else who makes it across? Step right up. All Democrats on Thursday night's debate stage raised their hands together for it.

And, well, a Rasmussen poll now shows what the public thinks of that spectacle. According to Breitbart News:
About 5-in-9 likely U.S. voters oppose proving free health care to illegal aliens that American taxpayers pay for, a poll this month finds.
A Rasmussen Reports survey this month asked 1,000 likely U.S. voters their opinions on the sanctuary state of California's latest law that provides full health care benefits to low-income illegal aliens who are under the age of 26-years-old.
About 55 percent, or 5-in-9, likely U.S. voters overall said they opposed providing even the lowest income illegal aliens with taxpayer-funded health care in their state. Only about 31 percent of likely voters said they supported the giant subsidy program.
Health care, after all, in the U.S. is expensive. It's also generally very good. Unlike a lot of places, there are world-class treatments and innovations, as well as fairly low waiting times for treatment, enough to draw wealthy paying customers from socialized medicine countries in Europe and from Canada. 

The prospect of illegals crowding the hospital waiting rooms for health services they don't pay a penny for and bankrupting these hospitals with state-payment rates (currently, they pay nothing, of course) is rather unattractive to taxpayers. One, they would likely see their taxes go up to pay for this scheme. Two, they would likely also see their premiums go up as hospitals seek to cover the below-market payment rates from the state payer, with premium hikes from the paying customers. And all this, for foreigners coming here with no regard for U.S. law or its legal process, and no history of ever paying into the system to get these "free services."

No wonder the idea is unpopular. Thomas Lifson pointed out to me that the numbers actually seem low, given the awfulness of the idea. But a look at the devil's details pushes the real numbers even higher: five in nine oppose free health care for illegals, but the question itself was in reference to California's in-the-works scheme to fork out free health care for illegals.

Ask if they'd like this idea to be placed in their own states, and then some real levels of discontent come out:
Nearly 7-in-10 likely voters 40 to 64-years-old said they opposed taxpayer-funded health care for illegal aliens in their state, while almost 8-in-10 Republican voters said they too opposed such a plan. Even with Democrat likely voters, more than 3-in-10 said they oppose giving taxpayer-funded health care to illegal aliens, and less than half said they supported the plan.
Among swing voters, about 6-in-10, or 60 percent, said they opposed providing taxpayer-funded health care to illegal aliens, and middle class Americans are the most likely to say they oppose offering free health care benefits to illegal aliens.
Fine for California to do it — it might actually draw illegals away from their own states, reducing the illegals caseload. But no way do most want to pay for it themselves in their own states. Seven in 10 say no, and the percentages get higher for Republicans. Breitbart reports that those in the $50,000 to $100,000 income range — the ones who can't get Obamacare subsidies and have to shell out full force for both themselves and others — are the least likely to support adding foreign supplicants to the health care rolls. 

To paraphrase Milton Friedman: You can have open borders. Or you can have a welfare state. But you sure as heck can't have both. The economic giant used the far more academic word, "incompatible." But it's clear as day to ordinary people what he meant.

Offering free health care to foreigners in the U.S. illegally is a bomb for Democrats. And now they own it. Good luck with that, jackasses.

Monica Showalter


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Read the Tea Leaves of China - Michael Curtis

by Michael Curtis

China is creating a facsimile of its old empire.

In the action movie Bullitt, 1968, the complicated story centers on a San Francisco cop, played by the cool Steve McQueen, asked by a slimy, ambitious Senate politician to guard the supposed Chicago Mafia leader who had agreed to testify at the hearing in San Francisco of the Senate Subcommittee on Organized Crime. The supposed criminal is killed, and the detective finds that he was an innocent party.

Fact follows fiction. On June 24, 2019, the chairman of the U.S. House Oversight Committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), demanded to know about official records relating to President Donald Trump's meetings with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Cummings does not resemble the King of Cool, admired for his anti-hero persona, sex appeal, sense of style, and rugged good looks, but like McQueen in the film, he is scrutinizing the wrong party.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, authoritarian and ambitious leader, is the ascending star, not President Putin. The search and inquiry of congressional committees should focus on China, not Russia. In today's world, China, whether stealing U.S. intellectual property; rapidly challenging the U.S. economy and trade; and seeking to command not only the leadership role in Asia, but also global dominance, is now the main rival of the U.S. The rapidity of its development is seen, by many analysts, as the greatest threat to the U.S. 

The great American philosopher Casey Stengel, exasperated by the hapless New York Mets, the new team he was managing in 1962, asked, "Can't anyone here play this game?" The game of politics has its hapless moments. On the very day of Cummings's letter to White House chief Mick Mulvaney about the desired records, a new report was issued that China had infiltrated cell networks of a number of global carriers. Among other matters, China targeted military officials, dissidents, and security bodies. This offensive is said to be the work of a Chinese group, APT 10, known for hacking Western businesses and official agencies. For more than a decade, Chinese groups have engaged in multiple hacking campaigns into computer systems around the world, attacking the telecom industry, searching for trade secrets and technology. 

In all spheres, political, economic, diplomatic, China has in recent years increased its role. Even in a quite new economic activity, online food delivery, China has increased quickly, accounting now for 45% of global trade. China is issuing licenses for commercial use of new technology, a key step in cyber-power. In Europe, China has interests and part ownership in a considerable number of enterprises: Heathrow, Frankfurt, and Toulouse airports; car firms Peugeot, Citroën, Pirelli, and Daimler; and TV stations. 

China has become prominent in Africa, which has 30% of the world's reserves of hydrocarbons and minerals and 10% of the world's population. China has moved in where it has seen that the West has neglected Africa. One estimate is that there are now 10,000 Chinese-owned firms in Africa. China has been building schools, hospitals, anti-malaria centers, and agricultural and technology demonstration centers. It has been lending money to African countries and training African workers. It has the Husab Uranian mine, a $4.6-billion investment, the second largest uranium mine in the world, in Namibia, where it is also building an artificial peninsula in Walvis Bay. In the African continent, China has built shopping malls, granite factories, cotton plants, telecommunications, and fuel depots. It has built a, $8-billion high-speed rail road in Nigeria and is working on a canal there. In 2000, only five countries had China as their largest trading partner; now more than a hundred do.
China's diplomatic aggressiveness was shown in two recent events. One was the visit in June of Xi Jinping to Korean leader Kim Jong-un, to discuss North Korea's nuclear weapons program and long-range missiles and U.S. sanctions. The second was the visit, June 5–7, 2019 to Russia. The question arises whether this visit, on the 70th anniversary of the agreement of diplomatic ties between the two countries, foretells a new strategic partnership in upgrading their hitherto uneven relationship? Trade between the two countries has grown, now $108 billion, and there is a wide range of cooperation on economics, trade, energy, science, aerospace, agriculture, and education. 

It is no secret that China is creating a facsimile of the old empire, as well as being the second or the first most important political and economic power in the world. Territorially, it incorporated Tibet in 1951, Hong Kong in 1997, and Macao in 1999. Politically and militarily, China supported North Korea in the hostilities of 1950–53, helped end the Indochina war in 1954, helped form the non-aligned movement in 1955, engaged in war with India in 1962, and established its first military base outside its own territory in Djibouti in 1999. China opened relations with the U.S. in 1979 and normalized relations with the Soviet Union in 1989. Economically, it became a member of the OECD, a member and observer of the Arctic Council, and a member of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation organization. 

Culturally, it set up the Cultural Revolution in 1966 and held the Olympic games in Beijing in 2008. The big change came with the arrival of Xi as president and his determination to Make China Great Again by creating a new counterpart of the legendary Road of Silk. 

This road, originally termed "one belt, one road," now is called Belt and Road Initiative.

There appear to be two roads. One is the land route from China to Europe, the old silk road interrupted in the 15th century. The other is the sea route: the strait of Malacca, the Indian ocean, the Red Sea, and the horn of Africa, once controlled by Portugal. 

The ambitious land programs include routes, rail, and energy lines. Already there are important connections — e.g., China to Pakistan with another being a route crossing Burma to Singapore. Sea route investments and commercial privileges exist in Asian ports, such as the case in Pireus, Greece and Gwadar, a strategic port in Pakistan. Added to this are links or hubs, special zones, in many parts of the world. Benefits obtained from this enterprise are culture and circulation of scholars, educational programs, and tourist programs. 

All this is in the context of official backing by the Asiatic Bank of Investment, BAII, located in Beijing, a bank of 69 members that finances infrastructure, and its activities are controlled by China. It is the equivalent of the Asiatic Bank of Development, controlled by Japan.

China is a power — not a friend of the U.S., but a rival, not an automatic enemy, and even a possible partner in resolving problems, such as North Korea or Syria or the South China Sea. The U.S. faces not only a problem with tariffs, but also the reality of a deficit with China of $379 billion in goods and services. While recognizing that Russia is also not a friend, the U.S. congressional committees should forgo or reduce their prolonged and seemingly interminable investigations of Putin's every word and turn attention to the giant of China in the present world. It is time to recognize that there is a strong correlation between monetary help and support for China's foreign policy objectives.

Michael Curtis


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The Left’s Metaphorical Holocaust Denial - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

When everyone is Hitler, no one is Hitler.

The Revolutions of 1989, which ultimately brought down the Soviet Union, were marked by major symbolic events and minor ones. One of those seemingly minor events was a Holocaust memorial.

In that year, it was announced that the first Holocaust memorial had been permitted in the USSR.

Soviet policy in the past had been to refer to the millions of Jews massacred in the Holocaust as “victims of fascism”. Information about the atrocities circulated through Samizdat and covert channels. The Black Book of Soviet Jewry was censored and would not be published until the fall of the Soviet Union.

 Memorials to the Jewish victims were held covertly by political dissidents.

The Soviet ban on the Holocaust was not merely due to anti-Semitism. It followed the same political line as the current progressive historical revisionism which erases the Jewish character of the victims while emphasizing that the atrocities could only be the result of a right-wing, not left-wing, political ideology.

Jewish Communists, like their non-Jewish counterparts, worked to minimize the Jewish element of Holocaust histories. Vasilij Grossman, the co-author of the Black Book of Soviet Jewry, urged replacing "Jews" with "people" and "civilians". This approach defined the USSR’s approach of memorializing millions of undefined people murdered by the former allies and later political foes of the Communists.

The erasure of the Jews in the Holocaust was not limited to the leftists in the Soviet Union.
The Diary of Anne Frank, the play seen by more people than any other depiction of the Holocaust, was hijacked by Lillian Hellman, a militant Stalinist, who turned it over to Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich, the Communist-linked married couple who excelled at churning out heartwarming leftist propaganda from traditional material, whether it was It’s A Wonderful Life or the story of Anne Frank.

The Jewish elements of Anne’s story were purged. “We’re not the only people that’ve had to suffer,” the fictionalized version of a dead Jewish girl declares to applause. “Sometimes one race, sometimes another.” The real message soon became about the evils of segregation and racism. The various Anne Frank memorial organizations have promoted BDS, banned Jewish clothing and compared Jews to ISIS.

Just as in the USSR, the erasure of Jews from the story of the Holocaust paves the way for anti-Semitism.

Last year, a Los Angeles theater put on a production of Anne Frank with a Latino cast hiding from ICE. After a backlash from Holocaust survivors and Jewish organizations to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Rep. Ilhan Omar equating immigration law enforcement to the Holocaust, the media doubled down. A plethora of leftist essays defending the slur spread the historical revisionism through the echo chamber.

Rep. Omar and Rep. Ocasio Cortez had their own anti-Semitic moments. By transforming anti-Semitism and the mass murder of Jews from a reality to a metaphor about the oppression of minorities, they become the metaphorical victims and the Jews objecting to them become metaphorical Nazis.

The USSR mastered this technique when having renamed the dead Jews as “victims of fascism”, it was free to work toward the murder of millions of Jews in Israel by denouncing them as “Zionist fascists.” A typical example  was a Pravda article, “Fascism and Zionism” which claimed that Israel, like Nazi Germany, was guilty of capitalism, imperialism and genocide. The Communist article argued that Jews everywhere were a “fifth column” while insisting that the USSR was anti-Zionist, not anti-Semitic.

Modern leftists also argue that Jews are the real Nazis. Hating them isn’t anti-Semitism. It’s anti-Zionism, which is really anti-Fascism and anti-Nazism. Killing Jews becomes the real message of the Holocaust.

Turning the Holocaust into a political metaphor makes Nazis out of its victims and its commemorators.

Instead of condemning evil, the transformation of the Holocaust into a metaphor whose protagonists are interchangeable, turns a real event into a blank slate on which any agenda can be superimposed. If everyone can be Hitler and anyone can be the Jews, then the Holocaust becomes a myth. A fairy tale into which any of us can read our own meaning and offers us no morality we do not already possess.

The Holocaust is not a metaphor. It is not a toolset to apply to every political event to demarcate the borders of the political spectrum. It was not the work of fascists, as the Soviet Union insisted. The Franco regime in Spain made efforts to save Jews even while the Soviet Union was executing some Jewish refugees as spies. FDR, a progressive hero, blocked the entry of Jewish refugees to the United States. El Salvador, governed by a fascist dictator, turned a blind eye to thousands of visas given to Jews.

When you study the Holocaust as history, rather than metaphor, it becomes impossible to reduce the events to a simplistic progressive parable about the virtue of tolerant lefties who resist racism. Bigotry is inherent in human beings and mass murder is how totalitarian regimes implement their utopian visions.

The Nazis and the Communists both imagined an ideal world in which the Jews did not exist. They went about implementing it in somewhat different ways because, like all fanatics whose morality comes from ideology, they had different theories to explain their own supremacism and the inferiority of the Jews.

The Nazis believed that they were superior for genetic reasons and viewed the Jews as a racial phenomenon that had to be physically eradicated at the genetic level. The Communists believed that they were superior for political reasons and the Jews had to be eradicated as a cultural phenomenon. The erasure of Jews from the story of the Holocaust, then and now, is part of that leftist genocide.

Erasing the Jews makes it easier to eliminate these complex realities while leaving only the metaphor. But the danger of reducing people to metaphors is part of the reason why the Holocaust happened. Lefties universalized the Holocaust, shifting it from a story about Jews to a universal tale about the wickedness of being mean to people, of bigotry, discrimination and general meanness of spirit.

And yet, anti-Semitism has come roaring back and is bigger than it’s been in generations.

The trouble with universal messages is that they’re meaningless. Most people already believe that being mean to others is wrong. They just disagree on the specific implementation of it. For leftists, the story of Anne Frank or the Holocaust is, at the moment, about the evils of deporting illegal aliens. It has nothing to say about the evils of anti-Semitism or of Islamic terrorists who cheer Hitler and murder Jews.

Learning about the Holocaust hasn’t made them better people, only more self-righteous about their views. They haven’t questioned their beliefs, instead they appropriated the Holocaust to support them.

When you turn history into metaphor, all you’re really doing is manufacturing propaganda.

On the campaign trail, Senator Cory Booker attacked President Trump’s immigration policies by invoking the Holocaust. “There was a ship that came here during World War II with a bunch of folks trying to escape the Holocaust, and we turned it around where they got killed in the Holocaust. The shame of that, you think we would learn our lesson about people coming here to seek asylum escaping terror.”

The “folks” in question were Jews.

Booker’s anonymization of Jews as “folks” strongly echoed Obama’s dismissal of a Muslim terrorist attack on a Jewish supermarket before the Sabbath, as “randomly shot a bunch of folks in a deli.”

The 2020 candidate, who had condemned criticism of Rep. Omar as Islamophobia, has announced that he would be okay with meeting with “Minister Farrakhan”, a bigot who has praised Hitler. This was the second time that the New Jersey senator had good things to say about a man who praised Hitler.

"I am very familiar with Minister Louis Farrakhan and his beliefs and his values," Booker told an audience member in South Carolina.

Those values include calling Hitler, a "very great man".

Previously, Booker had favorably quoted Stokely Carmichael in a Senate speech whose most famous line was, “The only good Zionist is a dead Zionist, we must take a lesson from Hitler.”

Historical revisionism isn’t just denying that the Holocaust happened, it’s also eliminating the history. When you wipe out the context, then before you know it, you can end up next door to Hitler.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.


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